Look at the chart of PAR vs distance for T5 lights in http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368 and you will see that at about 20 inches distance, the approximate height of a 55 gallon tank, a two bulb Catalina light, with the bulbs spaced 7.5 inches apart, gives you high light. Space the bulbs closer together, and you get even more light. The 3 bulb version gives a little more light than the 2 bulb, but not enough to matter. In any case, you need to raise that light a few inches to lower the intensity, or you will spend most of your aquarium efforts trying to get rid of algae. And, if you raise it a few inches a splash guard is superfluous.